[Bell Historians] Newcastle - St.Matthew

khsbelring@aol.com [bellhistorians] bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
Sun Oct 18 13:26:15 BST 2015

St. Matthew,  Newcastle 
>From the D. &  N. bell maintenance advisor. 
I went on  14th. Oct. 2015 to see the Rev. Richard Deadman, who is Vicar of 
St.  Matthew, Newcastle and two members of the P.C.C.           I went not 
as a D.A.C. member but to represent local ringers to see what  was currently 
happening and how we might be of help ( if any ).   
There are a number  of problems all of which need addressing. 
Firstly netting  that had been put up over the louvres on the inside of the 
tower had failed and  bird ingress had occurred with all of the associated 
mess that occurs with twigs  and guano. 
Secondly a major  leak in the roof has turned the mixture into a morass 
that then leaked down past  the ringing room and into the Church. 
Add to this that  neither of the problems had been noticed, as ringing was 
not being organised,  and action to remedy the situation before it became a 
major problem had not been  taken. 
The roof has been  repaired and the issue of the bird ingress is to be 
fixed at an unspecified date  due to faculty application and the lack of some 
10K. The new “netting” will be  placed on the outside of the louvres. When 
that job is done, and not before,  attention will turn to the sanitisation of 
the inside of the tower. Until  thoroughly cleaned access to the tower is 
very definitely closed on health  grounds. 
After cleansing of  the tower the next job will probably be a structural 
survey to assess the damage  done by the frame to at least one of the walls. A 
section of the stonework that  is tied to the base grillage is moving in 
and out of the rest of the  structure.                                         
It would appear  that there are settlement voids of the filling between the 
inner and outer skins  of the tower where this girder is attached. There is 
also a cracking problem  where the tower joins the nave. 
After this survey  there might be limited ringing permitted but remedial 
work will also need to be  done and the frame will have to be fixed securely 
to the fabric in a manner that  causes no further damage. 
Please note that  it causes great irritation when applications to ring on 
bells that are currently  flagged up as unavailable for ringing continue. 
They are shown as unringable on  the D. & N. web site and ringing temporarily 
suspended at Dove on line. It  is bad for harmonious relationships between 
clergy and ringers when there are  continued requests to ring when permission 
is clearly not going to be  forthcoming. 
Speaking  personally it is a lesson to us as ringers that we should 
recognise that we are  likely to be the only people in a position to spot problems 
such as these where  something that might start in a small way ends up being 
a major  incident. 
Howard E. J. Smith 
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